Feb. 2, 2010
SAN BRUNO, Calif. - As part of the 2010 Zappos.com WCC shoe drive, the West Coast Conference has committed to making its February push to help those that have been affected by the earthquake in Haiti. The conference has already collected over 2,800 shoes to be donated to the Soles4Souls organization, which has already shipped 100,000 pairs of shoes to those affected by the quake.
With an estimated three million people affected by the quake and the amount of broken glass, twisted metal, and risks for infection, Soles4Souls is rushing protective footwear to the survivors as quickly as possible. The conference office and its membership agreed that gearing its largest community service initiative would be the best way to help.
"The tragic devastation in Haiti has impacted all of us and has touched our campuses in a very personal way," said WCC Commissioner Jamie Zaninovich . "The decision to donate our shoes to the Haiti relief effort was an obvious one and it is a testament to the service culture of our schools that they have teamed up together in this shoe collection effort to benefit those who have been affected."
By focusing this month's collection efforts to assist those in Haiti, it is the conference's hope that it will surpass this year's goal of 6,000 shoes to be donated during the WCC basketball season. All the shoes that will be donated at the culmination of the shoe drive will be inspected by Soles4Souls to determine which ones are appropriate to send to Haiti. All others will be donated to other locations worldwide.
In addition to the Haiti relief efforts, the WCC is still working with Zappos.com to donate 600 new shoes to 600 underprivileged youth from the Las Vegas After-School All-Stars Program during the WCC Kidz Day, powered by Zappos.com. The event will take place before the WCC Women's Basketball Championship Game in Las Vegas on Monday, March 8th.
West Coast Conference
The West Coast Conference was formed in 1952 and has evolved and grown to become a nationally recognized and competitive force in Division I intercollegiate athletics, with 13 conference-sponsored sports: baseball, men's and women's basketball, women's crew, men's and women's cross country, men's and women's golf, men's and women's soccer, men's and women's tennis and women's volleyball. The WCC is characterized by the stability of its membership - only two conference have been together longer - and its unique emphasis on combining excellence in athletics with excellence in academics.
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Soles4Souls is a non-profit organization based out of Alabama that was created by Wayne Elsey as a response to the 2004 tsunami that hit Southeast Asia. Now, after having coordinated relief efforts for the Asian Tsunami and Hurricanes Katrina and Rita, Soles4Souls has already successfully donated over one million pairs of shoes to those hurting both domestically and internationally.